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      Home Dialysis is Associated with Lower Costs and Better Survival than other Modalities: A Population-Based Study in Ontario, Canada

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          How and where to initiate dialysis are policy challenges with enormous economic and health consequences. Initiating with home hemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) may reduce costs and improve outcomes but evidence is conflicting.


          We conducted a population-based study in patients aged ≥ 18 years who initiated chronic dialysis in the province of Ontario, Canada from 2006 to 2014 ( N = 12,691) using linked administrative data. Patients were grouped by initial modality: facility HD, facility short daily or slow nocturnal (SD/SN) HD, PD, home HD. We estimated publicly-paid healthcare costs (2015 Canadian dollars; 1 = 0.947 US dollar) and survival, from dialysis initiation to March 2015.


          By 5 years after dialysis initiation, mean 30-day costs (as-treated) for patients receiving PD and home HD were 50% and 64% lower, respectively, than for facility HD patients ($11,011). Approximately 50% of costs were unrelated to dialysis, reflecting high comorbidity in these patients. With covariate adjustment, mean 5-year cumulative costs were similar for initiators of home HD and PD ($304,178 and $349,338) and higher for facility HD initiators ($410,981). The highest 5-year unadjusted survival was for home HD patients (80%), followed by PD (52%), SD/SN HD (50%), and facility HD (42%).


          This study in a large cohort over 9 years provides new population-based evidence suggesting that initiating dialysis at home is cost-effective, with lower costs and better survival, than starting with facility HD. Survival differences persisted after adjustment for baseline characteristics but we could not adjust for functional status or severity of comorbidities.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Cost analysis of ongoing care of patients with end-stage renal disease: the impact of dialysis modality and dialysis access.

          Care of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is important and resource intense. To enable ESRD programs to develop strategies for more cost-efficient care, an accurate estimate of the cost of caring for patients with ESRD is needed. The objective of our study is to develop an updated and accurate itemized description of costs and resources required to treat patients with ESRD on dialysis therapy and contrast differences in resources required for various dialysis modalities. One hundred sixty-six patients who had been on dialysis therapy for longer than 6 months and agreed to enrollment were followed up prospectively for 1 year. Detailed information on baseline patient characteristics, including comorbidity, was collected. Costs considered included those related to outpatient dialysis care, inpatient care, outpatient nondialysis care, and physician claims. We also estimated separately the cost of maintaining the dialysis access. Overall annual cost of care for in-center, satellite, and home/self-care hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis were US $51,252 (95% confidence interval [CI], 47,680 to 54,824), $42,057 (95% CI, 39,523 to 44,592), $29,961 (95% CI, 21,252 to 38,670), and $26,959 (95% CI, 23,500 to 30,416), respectively (P < 0.001). After adjustment for the effect of other important predictors of cost, such as comorbidity, these differences persisted. Among patients treated with hemodialysis, the cost of vascular access-related care was lower by more than fivefold for patients who began the study period with a functioning native arteriovenous fistula compared with those treated with a permanent catheter or synthetic graft (P < 0.001). To maximize the efficiency with which care is provided to patients with ESRD, dialysis programs should encourage the use of home/self-care hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Copyright 2002 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
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            A 3-year study of high-cost users of health care.

            Characterizing high-cost users of health care resources is essential for the development of appropriate interventions to improve the management of these patients. We sought to determine the concentration of health care spending, characterize demographic characteristics and clinical diagnoses of high-cost users and examine the consistency of their health care consumption over time.
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              Performance of the ACG case-mix system in two Canadian provinces.

              While the adjusted clinical group (ACG) system has been extensively validated in the United States, its use in other developed nations has been limited. This article examines the performance of the system in 2 Canadian provinces and assesses the extent to which ACGs can account for same-year and next-year health care expenditures. The study population included all residents of Manitoba and British Columbia who were continuously enrolled in the provincial health plans from April 1, 1995, to March 31, 1997. ACGs were assigned through diagnoses from fee-for-service physician claims and hospital separation records. "Physician" costs were calculated from the fee-for-service tariffs, and for Manitobans, "total" costs were also computed by combining physician and hospital costs. Linear regression was used to examine the ability of the ACG system to explain variation in individual costs (truncated at the 99th percentile). The British Columbia and Manitoba data were generally acceptable, with fewer than 2% rejected diagnoses. Higher costs were associated with both the accumulation of morbidities and their relative severity. For physician costs, the ACG system explained approximately 50% and approximately 25% of the variation in same-year and next-year truncated costs, respectively. For total costs, the system explained approximately 40% and approximately 14% of these respective costs. The application of ACGs in Canada is feasible using existing data. The ability of the ACG system to explain variation in costs is similar to that found in US health systems. While application of ACGs in Canada shows promise, further research is required to examine how closely they reflect population morbidity burdens and health care needs.

                Author and article information

                Peritoneal Dialysis International: Journal of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis
                Perit Dial Int
                MultiMed Inc.
                November 2019
                February 06 2020
                November 2019
                : 39
                : 6
                : 553-561
                [1 ]Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [2 ]Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [3 ]Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [4 ]Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [5 ]Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [6 ]Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada
                [7 ]St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [8 ]Division of Nephrology, London Health Sciences Centre, Victoria Hospital and University Hospital, London, ON, Canada
                [9 ]Ontario Renal Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [10 ]Department of Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada
                [11 ]The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
                © 2019


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